WMFR hopes for improved insurance rating

West Manatee Fire Rescue District’s insurance rating may be on the rise — with a lower number.

        “It sounded pretty promising,” WMFR Fire Chief Andy Price said about a recent phone call from a long-time International Standards Organization assessor.

WMFR is challenging a recent ISO rating, and seeking a “3” rating.

“We’re pretty excited about it — it’ll be the lowest rating in the county,” he said.

            ISO rates communities from 1-10, with 1 being perfect, about every 10 years.

        In early 2012, the district underwent the ISO evaluation, including a site visit, measuring the quality of the fire department, staffing, training, water supply, hydrant locations, communication systems, building codes and inspection programs.

After the ISO results came back in the fall, the district had held onto its 4 rating.

WMFR officials, however, reviewed the results and determined the ISO evaluator missed certain information. The district then appealed its rating.

        Price said Capt. Tom Sousa recently provided the ISO information on the district’s training and certifications, which are hoped to bring the rating to a “3.”

            Insurance companies use ISO ratings to set premiums, and a lower number typically means lower insurance rates for property owners.

        WMFR provides fire and rescue service from three fire stations, with a staff of 42 career personnel and 35 reservists. It protects nearly 20,000 parcels valued at $4.9 billion in an 18-square-mile district, including Anna Maria Island.

        For more information on the district, call 941-761-1555.

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